Google may have said that its efforts on Chrome OS will, in the initial phase, be centered around notebook PCs and netbooks because its nature as a secondary machine, but there is no denying that the search giant wants its operating system and the user experience it brings to eventually become the default method of computing.
At this point, many people would probably be wondering why Google chose to focus their development on netbooks and notebooks, a segment which is gradually being squeezed out by the growing demand for slate PCs like the Galaxy Tab or iPad. However, looking at the development pages of Chromium OS reveal that the open-source developers working on the project have already thought of that.
According to the information listed on the development pages, developers are working to port Chromium OS over to tablets with screen sizes between five to ten inches. This theoretically means that almost every single slate PC in the market today are prime candidates for Google to load in its own OS.
In addition, the development guidelines for a tablet-friendly UI reveals that there will be no window management allowed. Instead, users will have only a single full-screen user interface which is navigated solely via tabs and docking panels. However, concept renders hint that the slate UI may also feature support for splitscreen and dashboard-style navigation, as shown in the images below:
There was no mention of whether the slate-optimized user interface for Chromium OS will support standard multitouch gestures which are widely-used among users and OEMs of such devices. More importantly, no information about any hardware requirements for the slate-optimized version of the cloud operating system has been released, but chances are they will not vary too much from the current guidelines set for Chrome OS netbooks. However, considering that most slates in the market currently make use of capacitive displays capable of multitouch inputs, it is also possible that Google might mandate such displays in Chrome OS/Chromium OS slates to ensure familiarity and convenience.
Unfortunately, that was all the information we were able to obtain regarding Chromium OS’s plans and guidelines for a slate-optimized UI. And even then, it appears that the information which has been publicly revealed by the developers have not gone past the ‘concept’ stage yet: this means that every single design that we have shown you are subject to change at anytime during the development process.
Still, there is little doubt that pairing up a slate which is connected to the Internet every second of the day with an OS that requires constant web access is probably one of the more practical things that Google can do to capitalize on the growing demands for slate PCs.